Friday, September 28, 2012

Psychosomatic: Interplay of Mind and Body

Generally speaking, psychosomatic illnesses are caused (or aggravated) by a mental factor such as internal conflict or stress because of the interaction of mind and body.

A psychiatric social worker told me the story of working with a client who had a psychosomatic illness. Once it was determined that it was a psychosomatic cause, they explained in specific detail how the mind and body work together. Once the client recognized and accepted the validity of what he was being told, his "illness" instantly disappeared. This encouraged him to accept that the root causes were emotional and thus became willing to pursue the counseling that he'd previously rejected. The followup psychological counseling was a success.

The key was accepting that the mind is distinct from the body. There's an interplay -- but they're not one and the same.